Double feature: Of course I am neither the first, nor will I be the last, to recommend “Boyhood.” But what I may be able to add is the observation that its exploration of time and existence is a uniquely American one.
How so? Continue reading
Double feature: The perfect pairing for the (unofficial) last weekend of summer – “Before Midnight” and “Claire’s Knee.” Why? It’s not just that both are set, either all or in part, during summer’s end. It’s that, in a larger sense, the two films are structured around, and brim over with, markers of time.
Double feature: There really aren’t that many movies featuring the Thanksgiving holiday, even tangentially. If you’re looking to branch out beyond “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Home for the Holidays,” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” consider a double feature of “The Birdcage” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
Double feature: Lots of films concern themselves with the “what” or “when” of action. “The Straight Story” and “The Swimmer” stand out, and link to each other, by placing their urgency on the “how.” Both center on protagonists who turn routine journeys into quests by dreaming up exquisitely particular, unconventional ways to get from point A to point B.
Double feature: The easy parallel between these two series is the quartet of shared archetypes leading up their respective casts. In both “The Golden Girls” and “Designing Women,” you’ll find: the sweet one (Rose, Charlene;) the brainy one (Dorothy, Julia;) the sexy one (Blanche, Suzanne;) and the quirky one (Sophia, Mary Jo.) Also, but less to the point, a semi-emasculated male drifting in and out of the frame (Stanley, Anthony.)
Double feature: Need help bidding farewell to summer? Try a double feature of “Almost Famous” and “Dirty Dancing.” Both films let you relive the thrill of warm weather escapades, then prepare you to wave goodbye to the season (wistfully, from the rear windshield of the tour bus/family station wagon) by pointing to the potential for good that lies further down the year’s road.
Double feature: The combination of sly satire and visual panache seems like a rare one, perhaps because of intrinsic differences in scale (detailed vs. holistic) and medium (word vs. image.) But when these two elements combine, as they do in both “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Dr. Strangelove,” the effect is dazzling.